Brave The Flaming Bullseye With Total Talent Acquisition

“It is the fire that lights itself
But it burns with a restless flame
The arrow on a moving target
The archer must be sure of his aim…”

—Neil Peart (writer and musician, “Cut to the Chase”)

He hated driving. And yet, he drove me home from the airport. Nice guy. Personable. Articulate. Cleanly shaved head, just south of my age. Mid-forties I guessed. Great driver actually. Very aware of everything around him. We immediately hit if off as we discussed the ups and downs of the Bay Area highways and byways, the best times to drive and the worst.

“Well, you’re hitting the driving thing head-on,” I announced in a poor attempt at punning.

He laughed nonetheless. “It’s my job for now. I don’t have a choice.”

He leaked a weak smile in the rear-view mirror. Before I could press him further he deflected to me and what I did for a living.

A little while later I again tried to learn more about his professional life, but to no avail. What was obvious to me was that he was one of the more qualified “underemployed,” those who only work part time doing whatever because they can’t find full-time employment. How are companies leveraging this underserved talent pool and candidates like him? And can they?

Cut to 24 hours earlier while I sat with colleagues and an entire recruiting team from one of our recruiting customers talking about how to remain compliant while searching, sourcing and pipelining. If you’re in HR and recruiting, you understand the broad critical complexity of regulations that are in place to protect employers, employees, applicants and candidates.

The senior vice president of talent acquisition led the meeting and at one point he said something quite profound and refreshing, not something I’d heard of late:

“We cannot allow compliance to manage us. We have to be able to search and source our own databases in a timely way without compromising quality…in the spirit of effectiveness and productivity, not necessarily efficiency.”

At the same time the disparity between organizations that achieve high-performance talent acquisition and those that don’t usually boils down to agile processes and transparent branding without completely compromising compliance – all with the right technology that empowers the total talent acquisition package.

Competing for the best people, regardless of role or classification, has again become priority number one with an emphasis on the speed and quality of the hiring process. But it’s definitely a moving target – according to survey data collected by my mothership, PeopleFluent, 73% of the HR and recruiting survey-takers noted that developing a talent pipeline was a struggle.

Plus, if you take into account the latest BLS employment numbers, the true total unemployed include the underemployed, which is nearly double the usual unemployment numbers pumped into the media mainstream.

Mercy me, it’s a confusing hot mess out there. To add to the confusion, Will Thomson, Global Sales Recruiter for Rosetta Stone and the Founder of Bulls Eye Recruiting, told us on the TalentCulture #TChat Show that this year, 2015, will be the best year for recruiting since 1999.

Wait, what? Well, more jobs were created in 2014 than in any other year since 1999. According to a recent New York Times article, employers have hired more than 1 million people since November 1, 2014.

But, companies still struggle with sourcing the right people and job seekers can learn just as much if not more about a prospective employer today than the employers can learn about them. They can shop and screen with the best of them, which is why company culture and transparent relationships will be the primary drivers for successfully recruiting and retaining employees in 2015. The talent acquisition teams that get this will facilitate winning.

The challenge lies in doing away with the old recruiting process model and implementing a modern, total talent acquisition approach to recruiting. In fact, according to Brandon Hall Group’s High-Performance Talent Acquisition Framework, Total Talent Acquisition is a culmination of the process of identifying, engaging, assessing, hiring and onboarding talent in order to successfully grow an organization’s workforce.

According to data from the 2014 Candidate Experience Awards (the CandEs), companies can do this better by setting expectations up front, and having more job-relevant components in the application and seeking feedback from their candidates. Along these lines, it is crucial to provide a detailed description of the application process, which will help candidates understand how to apply, the reasons for asking diversity-based questions, privacy commitments and accommodations for people with disabilities.

Employers can also enhance the candidate experience, and better target qualified candidates, by including video-enabled screening questions and assessments in the application process. Doing so will enable companies to provide a more personalized process, allowing candidates who might not be qualified to self-select out, while moving the best candidates forward. Not only will these efforts help to shorten the application process and keep talent more engaged, but it will also help to target the qualified talent the organization needs to remain competitive.

When equipped with the right total talent acquisition technology solution, companies can provide a more engaging and transparent candidate experience, a more streamlined process for recruiters to sort through candidates and an effective process for hiring managers to make well-informed decisions, which in turn improves the overall speed and quality of hire today and far into the future.

Telling my driver that “drivers” were one of the top 10 hardest roles to fill in 2014 probably wasn’t something that he would’ve wanted to hear. But if we brave the flaming bullseye together – candidates, recruiters, hiring manager – with a total talent acquisition strategy, maybe we can hit the mark more often for everyone including the qualified underemployed.

Mobile Hiring: A Smarter Way to Seal the Deal

Written by Todd Owens, President and COO, TalentWise

(Editor’s Note: Learn more about issues and opportunities in mobile hiring from Todd and Brandon Hall talent acquisition analyst, Kyle Lagunas. Listen to the #TChat Radio show now.)

During the past few years, innovative technologies have revolutionized HR business processes. The first wave focused on talent acquisition — with the advent of applicant tracking systems, and the recent surge in mobile recruiting. Now, mobile hiring is emerging as the next wave in this era of HR transformation. Why is mobile hiring important? Let’s take a closer look.

The Mobile Workplace Imperative

No one doubts that mobile connectivity is changing the world. 91% of Americans currently own a cell phone, and globally more than 6.8 billion mobile phones are in use. Now, tablets are making tremendous inroads, with sales that outpace mobile phones by a wide margin.

As these next-generation digital devices become central to our personal and professional lives, organizations are recognizing the value of integrating mobile capabilities into every facet of business operations. In fact, mobile technology is just one dimension of the SoMoClo (Social, Mobile, Cloud) revolution that is reinventing the workplace. HR has leveraged the power of SoMoClo for recruiting. The next logical step is hiring.

Mobile Hiring: Building Stronger Candidate Connections

First let’s look at mobile recruiting trends. Each month, one billion job searches are conducted via mobile devices. When properly executed, mobile-friendly recruitment leads to conversion rates that are 5-10 times higher than traditional PC-based recruitment, but at lower cost. A key benefit of going mobile is immediacy. While 70% of mobile searchers act within the hour, only 30% of PC searchers do. It’s no wonder why recruiters are scrambling to source talent through mobile channels.

However, even the best recruiting efforts can be undone when the candidate experience is disrupted by a cumbersome, outdated hiring process. What does it say to the candidate you’ve spent valuable resources recruiting — the one you’ve sourced and attracted through mobile channels — when you send a paper offer letter via snail mail and ask for a reply via fax?

Too often, there is a disconnect between the satisfying high-tech, high-touch experience of mobile recruiting, and old-school hiring methods. Unfortunately, it occurs at the most critical moment — in that stage between the job offer and onboarding. Why take that risk? It’s time for hiring to step up.

The Business Case For Mobile Hiring Now

Early adopters are seeing dramatic results, as the demand for mobile hiring support soars. For example, consider metrics from the TalentWise platform. Our customers send job candidates directly to our mobile-optimized portal to expedite the hiring process. In less than a year, we’ve seen a stunning 5-fold increase in mobile traffic — from only 8% of candidates last year to 43% today. Employers can’t afford to ignore that kind of exponential growth.

Mobile isn’t about devices. It’s about immediacy and “always on” access — and hiring should be, too. A weak hiring process is bound to affect your retention rate. In fact, studies estimate that, without solid on-boarding, 22% of new hires leave within the first 45 days.

Your organization only gets one chance to make a lasting first impression with today’s on-the-go talent pool. A mobile-friendly hiring process can give you a clear competitive edge. Is your offer letter truly digital? Can candidates sign it through a smartphone or tablet? Or must they print an email attachment, sign it, scan it and send it back? That model is just an email twist on a paper-based process, and it comes with all the old compliance risks and security issues of hardcopy workflows.

How To Catch The Mobile Hiring Wave

So what’s the first step to making your hiring process mobile friendly? Take a hard look at your hiring process. Audit every step. Go through it yourself as if you’re a new hire. Decide what is critical, think holistically, and optimize according to your priorities. For example, offer letters and screening authorizations are essential, but 401k enrollment forms may not be as important. HR managers should be able to monitor the status of multiple candidates from their tablets, but payroll may be better managed from a desktop.

Once you have a clear view of your current process, from both a candidate and administrative perspective, you can identify a technology solution that effectively “mobilizes” these functions. The path to a streamlined solution may be easier than you think.

What opportunities and issues do you see on the horizon for mobile hiring? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

WPFl8ZJCTbSWd3aW36zfeEA69ZEo44fOfHHdTeu8j9Q(About the Author: Todd Owens is President and COO at TalentWise and has been with the company since 2006. Previously he held senior Product Management and Business Development roles at Wind River Systems and Siebel Systems. A former United States Navy submarine officer, Todd has twice been recognized as a “Superstar for outsourcing innovation in support of HR organizations” by HRO Today magazine. Todd holds a BS degree from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.)

Image Credit: Carnegie Library

Hiring: Moving Forward With Mobile? #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap of the week’s highlights and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane.”)

Several weeks ago at #TChat Events, our community discussed the rapid rise in demand for mobile recruiting.

The statistics are mind-boggling. Already, it’s estimated that 1 billion job-related searches are initiated each month from mobile devices. That kind of volume means organizations everywhere are racing to make their candidate experience more mobile friendly.

Mobile Recruiting Leaps Forward: Can Hiring Keep Pace?

These explosive mobile adoption figures lead us to wonder — what happens after the recruitment phase?

Are HR organizations committed to mobile-friendly hiring processes — from the offer letter to onboarding — and beyond? What will it take to connect the mobile workforce dots across the entire employee lifecycle? And how can we get there from here? That’s what we’ll explore this week at #TChat Events, with two talent acquisition experts:

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Industry Analyst at Brandon Hall Group and
Todd Owens, President and COO at TalentWise, a next-generation hiring platform provider.

Todd took several minutes to help frame this week’s issues in a “sneak peek” hangout with me:

This is an important issue for talent-minded professionals everywhere. So we hope you’ll join the conversation this week. We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions!

#TChat Events: Mobile Devices + Hiring = Good Match?


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Nov 13 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Todd Owens and Kyle Lagunas about how mobile hiring processes extend the candidate experience and improve HR effectiveness. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Nov 13 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move this discussion to the #TChat Twitter stream, where Dr. Nancy Rubin will moderate an open chat with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: What exactly is mobile hiring, and how it is being applied today?
Q2: What are the advantages of hiring anywhere, anytime?
Q3: How can mobile hiring showcase an organization’s corporate culture?
Q4: How can companies get all generations to adopt mobile recruiting/hiring?
Q5: Is mobile hiring a revolution, while mobile onboarding is an evolution?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.
We’ll see you on the stream!